Saturday

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Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in Argo. Affleck also directed the film, which is based on events surrounding the Iran hostage crisis of 1979. Keith Bernstein/Warner Brothers hide caption

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Friday

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An illustration shows heretics being tortured and nailed to wooden posts during the first Inquisition. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Author Interviews

The Inquisition: A Model For Modern Interrogators

The Inquisition revolutionized record-keeping and surveillance techniques that are still used today, says Cullen Murphy. His book God's Jury draws parallels between some of the interrogation techniques used in previous centuries with the ones used today.

The Inquisition: A Model For Modern Interrogators

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Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and her sister, Lilly (Isabelle Nelisse), are near-feral orphans in the horror thriller Mama. Universal Pictures hide caption

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Movies

'Mama': A Good Old-Fashioned Horror Movie

In an age of werewolves, hormonal vampires and endless sequels, horror movies have lost some edge. But Mama, starring Jessica Chastain, is an entertaining step in the right — which is to say backward — direction.

'Mama': A Good Old-Fashioned Horror Movie

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Thursday

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Wednesday

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Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut with the film Quartet. He has starred in such classics as The Graduate, Kramer vs. Kramer and Tootsie. Kerry Brown/The Weinstein Company hide caption

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Movie Interviews

'Quartet': Dustin Hoffman, Behind The Camera

The veteran actor makes his directorial debut with a film about four aging opera singers who stage a concert at their retirement home. Starring Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay, the film explores friendship, memory and the time that remains.

'Quartet': Dustin Hoffman, Behind The Camera

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Tuesday

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Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in Argo. Affleck also directed the film, which is based on events surrounding the Iran hostage crisis of 1979. Keith Bernstein/Warner Brothers hide caption

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George Saunders' previous books include In Persuasion Nation and The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip. He won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. Basso Cannarsa/Courtesy Random House hide caption

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Monday

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Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, has retired. He'll start working with the Center for American Progress, a progressive research and policy organization, on issues of faith and gay rights. BProud Photography/Knopf hide caption

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There are those who say the phrase "the whole nine yards" comes from a joke about a prodigiously well-endowed Scotsman who gets his kilt caught in a door. iStockPhoto hide caption

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Commentary

'The Whole Nine Yards' Of What?

There are many theories about where the expression comes from — among them square-riggers with three masts, the amount of cloth in the queen's bridal train, the Shroud of Turin, and a prodigiously well-endowed Scotsman who gets his kilt caught in a door.

'The Whole Nine Yards' Of What?

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Saturday

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Lena Dunham's series Girls, which follows the lives of a group of young women in New York City, returns to HBO this month. Jessica Miglio/HBO hide caption

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Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Civil War, 'Downton' And 'Girls'

Civil War historian Bruce Levine says that from the destruction of the South emerged an entirely new country. On the hit Masterpiece Theater series, social rules are changing as the world events of the 20th century unfold. And David Bianculli reviews season two of 'Girls.'

Fresh Air Weekend: Civil War, 'Downton' And 'Girls'

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Friday

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Lena Dunham's series Girls, which follows the lives of a group of young women in New York City, returns to HBO this month. Jessica Miglio/HBO hide caption

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Television

Season Two Brings Changes For 'Girls'

The second season of the HBO series premieres this month, and Fresh Air critic David Bianculli says "these young women — these girls — really are changing and growing and adapting to tough life in the big city."

Season Two Brings Changes For 'Girls'

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Girls has been compared to Sex and the City. The characters, played by (from left) Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Lena Dunham and Zosia Mamet, navigate the ups and downs of life in New York City. HBO hide caption

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Television

Lena Dunham Addresses Criticism Aimed At 'Girls'

The creator and star of HBO's new series Girls addresses the backlash against the show, which follows four 20-somethings as they navigate the ups and downs of life in New York City. The second season premieres January 13.

Lena Dunham Addresses Criticism Aimed At 'Girls'

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Thursday

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Barry Lopez David Liittschwager/Barry Lopez hide caption

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Author Interviews

In 'Sliver Of Sky,' Barry Lopez Confronts Childhood Sexual Abuse

The nature writer has an essay in January's Harper's Magazine that details the four years of his childhood during which he says he was routinely raped and molested by a family friend.

In 'Sliver Of Sky,' Barry Lopez Confronts Childhood Sexual Abuse

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Wednesday

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Bobby Cannavale (right) stars in Glengarry Glen Ross on Broadway. Cannavale has also starred in television shows such as HBO's Boardwalk Empire and in films such as The Station Agent. Scott Landis/JRA Broadway hide caption

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Theater

Bobby Cannavale, At Home On Broadway

The actor, who's currently starring in Glenngarry Glen Ross opposite Al Pacino, has been acting for the stage since he was a teenager in Union City, N.J. "It was the only thing I ever wanted to do, really," he says.

Bobby Cannavale, At Home On Broadway

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Connie Britton (pictured) and Hayden Panetierre star as country singers of different generations on the ABC series Nashville. Courtesy of ABC hide caption

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Music Reviews

'Nashville' Soundtrack Stands On Its Own

A new album of original songs from the Golden Globe-nominated TV series about Music City reflects the tastes of the show's musical producer, T-Bone Burnett, as well as the vocal talents of stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere.

'Nashville' Soundtrack Stands On Its Own

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